The aspect ratio of The Sandman raises several questions among Netflix subscribers. Distorted images? No, a deliberate creative choice.
The arrival of Neil Gaiman’s highly anticipated Sandman on Netflix this week has some viewers wondering. They quickly pointed out the format of the image which seems slightly incorrect.
“Why does everything seem so stretched up? Is this supposed to be a dream and I’m just a filthy pig or is there something wrong?“, asked a twitto to Netflix:
Sandman viewers first noticed these distorted images in the show’s trailers, causing some trepidation among fans of the original graphic novel series. Except these distorted images aren’t just in the trailer, they’re an integral part of the show.
Some have wondered if a technical issue was behind these visuals. But the image distortion is a deliberate creative choice, as reported variety. And Netflix is content to point out that many sequences are surreal in the series and the idea is precisely to reflect what a dream would look like.
The hero of the series called Dream and portrayed by Tom Sturridge rules over the Realm of Dreams and, when captured, his absence triggers events that change both the Dream World and the waking world. Throughout the series, distorted footage shows the cast with elongated faces and stretched visuals, giving the series a surreal feel.
Will Baldy, Sam Heasman and George Steel serve as the series’ cinematographers. They have yet to reveal what kind of lenses they used to film Sandman. If, for example, old lenses were used on an 8K camera, the combination of old and new technology could create image distortion. Conversely, using an old-school wide-angle lens with distortion on the sides would create stretched visuals.
So there is no need to change your TV settings to adjust the aspect ratio. Sandman looks exactly as its creators imagined. It’s not a technical problem. It’s art.